Domestic violence is a traumatic experience that affects a wide range of people. It frequently occurs in secret, making it simple to ignore or rationalise away.
Abuse can take many different forms, including financial control, sexual assault, physical and emotional attack, and psychological activities or threats intended to hurt or sway an intimate relationship. It affects people of all sexes, ethnicities, faiths, ages, and socioeconomic statuses and can occur at any age. To learn more about that can domestic violence cause PTSD, seek Online Counselling at TalktoAngel.
PTSD was often thought to exclusively affect war veterans, but it may affect everyone.
PTSD can result from any traumatic experience that puts your life in danger, like a vehicle accident or a natural disaster. Not every person who goes through a horrific event will experience PTSD. Only approximately 20% of adults in the United States will develop PTSD, despite the fact that 70% of adults in the country are predicted to go through a stressful event at least once in their lives.
The fight, flight, or freeze response can be triggered by domestic violence and can result in PTSD. Accidents and other traumatic occurrences have a conclusion, after which you can focus on your recovery. Other traumas, like domestic violence, are long-term (chronic), meaning they go on forever or keep happening.
Domestic abuse trauma can cause a variety of physical and mental health symptoms, including despair, suicidal thoughts, panic attacks, substance misuse disorders, and problems with sexual and reproductive health.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a mental condition in which a person has trouble healing after experiencing or witnessing a horrific event, is one of the less well-known effects of domestic abuse. Domestic violence is a frequently under-recognized cause, but any traumatic event, such as a war or major accident, can have this effect.
Because PTSD and other mental health illnesses have a lot in common, it can be challenging to identify PTSD symptoms. However, the three broad groups of symptoms typically include:
- Avoiding people, places, thoughts, or activities that serve as “triggers” or memories of the traumatic event
- Arousal and reactivity include sudden, unexplained rage outbursts, difficulty being emotionally reached, feeling numb, difficulty falling asleep, and being startled quickly.
- Reliving the incident: Being suddenly and unexpectedly confronted with the emotional anguish of the incident, leading in emotional outbursts, shivers, heart palpitations, acute anxiety, and other symptoms.
If ignored, PTSD can lead to long-term mental health difficulties including difficulty controlling one’s anger, severe despair, and extreme loneliness. Untreated PTSD can also raise the risk of developing a number of fatal illnesses, including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and substance misuse disorders.
Anyone who experiences a serious life-threatening trauma, such as domestic violence, which exposes the victim to varied degrees of anxiety, vulnerability, and helplessness, is susceptible to developing PTSD. Because the abuser lives nearby or is frequently present in the victim’s life, the dread brought on by a traumatic occurrence can become overpowering yet is sometimes not addressed right away.
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Dr. Mary Wynn Hill, a board-certified psychiatrist and the medical director of the Beaufort Memorial Mental Health Unit, states that while obtaining emotional support might help to lessen the impacts of PTSD, the likelihood of it developing after a domestic violence incident increases. However, because it calls for dependable family and friends who are prepared to listen and possibly step in, this is not always feasible.
A physical injury, feeling helpless, a lack of a supporting community, having to deal with other stressors before and after the event, and having a history of mental illness or addiction are additional risk factors that enhance a victim of domestic violence’s likelihood of developing PTSD.
Therapy for PTSD
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating PTSD in victims of domestic abuse, and the process can be challenging. A treatment strategy might be developed by a mental health practitioner to address particular symptoms.
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According to Dr. Hill, who sees patients at Beaufort Memorial Sea Island Psychiatry, “it is unlikely that PTSD treatment will be particularly effective if the abuse victim is still partnered with the abuser.” “PTSD and domestic violence must be addressed together. victims who feel confined in their relationships or are hesitant to seek treatment due to ongoing threats of violence may find it increasingly difficult to receive or benefit from proper treatment.”
If you or your partner are facing issues with PTSD, feel free to seek Relationship Counsellingat TalktoAngel.